Niket Desai is a poster child for the international entrepreneur spirit. At just 30 years old, he has already lived the life that only the new generation of business superstars can. Together with his legendary co-founder Xander Pollock, Desai worked on Google’s Inbox product, and at FlipKart, as Chief of Staff and Product, he presided over one of the fastest growing companies in India’s history.
Now, Desai will appear on stage at Heavy Chef, in Sandton on the 11th July. Thanks to a collaboration between Heavy Chef Foundation and Nedgroup Investments, a limited number of public tickets for the event and a morning masterclass the following day are available on the Heavy Chef website, www.heavychef.com.
Head of Direct Clients for Nedgroup Investments, Donna Barnes said this week; “We are incredibly excited by this event. It’s rare to get such a strong lineup of speakers in an intimate setting like this, talking about such a critical topic. Nedgroup is focused on creating a strong foundation of sound investment principles, and so it’s essential that collectively we have a view of what the future holds in this uncertain digital economy.”
Chairman of the Heavy Chef Foundation, Louis Janse van Rensburg, said this week: “We are honoured to have an entrepreneur of Desai’s’ calibre on our stage. Entrepreneurs and innovative managers are incredibly important to our economy, and their education is incredibly important to their performance. We’ve asked Desai to share his views on the technological advances in Silicon Valley and India in order for our community here to gain perspective on the intricacies of scaling products and company teams in the harsh light of the 4th Industrial Revolution.”
Niket Desai is an Internet entrepreneur and an Investment Fellow. He had previously worked for Google in California, Motorola Mobility and was the Chief of Staff at Flipkart, the leading online shopping site in the fast-growing Indian market and Amazon's main local competitor.
Currently, Desai is an Investment Fellow with the University of California (UC Berkeley), assisting in managing $115 Billion for the University. Desai is involved in thinking through and executing an innovation strategy, as well as their venture holdings. He gives conferences on startup early days, technological trends and building unique internal culture all over the world.
Desai previously co-founded Punchd, a mobile loyalty startup, which was acquired by Google.
Niket Desai was invited by the King of Jordan to develop Startup ecosystem in MENA and was a speaker at MENA ICT Forum in 2014.
He loves working with other entrepreneurs on the early parts of building companies and is a mentor and speaker at Startup, Nomadic Mentors, Founder Institute, 500 Startups and Berkley Engineering. His interests include network optimization, cognitive psychology, and propulsion systems. Although described as "droll" Niket earned a degree in Industrial Engineering from UC Berkeley.
Joining Desai on stage is a local star, entrepreneur and widely-respected commentator on the 4th Industrial Revolution, Valter Adão.
Valter Adão is the Head of Deloitte Digital in Africa, and speaks with authority on future trends and the impact of the digital economy on our lives, as well as highlighting the extraordinary opportunities provided by the rapid rise of technological innovation in every sector of business.
Adão spoke recently at a Heavy Chef event in Cape Town, providing a harrowing view of the African environment.
FutureFit consultant Mike Perk will MC the event, injecting his lively style and wealth of experience, having co-founded one of South Africa’s most iconic digital agencies, World Wide Creative. Perk is looking forward to the event: “I am truly excited to share the stage with Adão and Desai. These are two powerhouses, and both will provide a plethora of insights in what promises to be a fascinating evening.”
Heavy Chef, despite having a quirky name, has nothing to do with cooking, but all to do with entrepreneurial empowerment. The organisation was officially launched in February 2017 but initially began as a side-project of digital marketing agency World Wide Creative, of which Roed and Van Rensburg are shareholders. The platform has since hosted former president Thabo Mbeki, Rapelang Rabana, Zolani Mahola, Mo Flava, singing superstar Imogen Heap, Sam Paddock, Gareth Cliff, ex-surfing world champion Shaun Tomson, Masechaba Ndlovu, Sbusiso Leope and a host of technologists, leaders and creatives.
Desai and Adão will present their keynotes, followed by a rigorous Q&A session on the evening of the 11th March at NGI’s stunning Sandton Headquarters.
Seats for the event are limited and attendees can purchase tickets by clicking below: